Welcome to our little World,
where we take all the little pieces of life, and turn them into some Spectacular Artwork!
We are a group of free spirits who enjoy sharing ideas. This is a peaceful and happy place, and you are welcome to join in!

Meet PieceMaker Artist, Amanda Edwards

This is the fourth interview in our series, "Meet the PieceMakers". Read on to learn more about PieceMaker member, Amanda Edwards!

How did you come up with your Etsy shop name?

My full name is Amanda Lynn Edwards... "Amanda Lynn". So, Mandolin Mosaics seemed too obvious to ignore.

"The Selfish Giant"

How long have you been creating mosaics? What was your first piece?

I did my first mosaic 6 years ago.... a sink in our children's bathroom. I wanted to do something really unique to it, and thought the kids would love the textures and colors of glass. About halfway through, I was already planning my next mosaic here in the house. By the time I finished the sink, I was a mosaic addict.

What other art do you do?

I have done all kinds of things. Sketching and working on and off with watercolors has been a part of my life for the past 20 years now. But, I've tried all kinds of art venues. I gone to pottery school, I've taken a handful of classes at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I've done oil painting, sculpture.. you name it, I've tried it. Next on my dream list is to get into one of our local glass blowing studios.

What kind of shows have you been a part of? Have you gotten some kind of cool recognition for any work?

I've been a part of some great local shows around Maine, and Portland Maine's Old Port. It's always fun to be a part of something in Portland... so much good energy & excitement. I've done 2 solo shows in the Old Port as well, and for those I was part of the Friday Night Art Walk. The first Friday of every month is a big celebration of art here in Portland. Galleries all open, most have wine & cheese, and all the artists are there to meet the folks coming in to see their work. It's a lot of fun to be an observer, as well as to be one of the artists. I was also honored to have a piece hang in the Somerville Museum exhibit on Contemporary Mosaics. As for cool recognition, I'm currently a finalist in an art contest that Etsy is holding with NASA. Winners will be announced in mid- February. Keep your fingers and toes crossed!

"Secrets of Carina"

What would be your dream to mosaic?

I've been daydreaming of creating a mural in a public space for a long time... as far back as my teens. For the past few years, my mural daydream was, of course, using a glass medium. Just recently, I found out that someone likes my dream, and have been asked by the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital to create a mural in their atrium. I'm beyond thrilled, honored, and of course emotional because of where it is.

"Flight of the Jellies"

Is being an artist your full-time job? What other jobs consume your time?

Being a Mom is my full-time job. Being an artist is just part of who I am... and if I can make a little money to support my glass addiction along the way, then that's great!

"The Only Living Boy in New York"

Tell us briefly about your family & the area where you live.

I live on the coast of Southern Maine with my husband, 2 small children, old cat, and snuggly dog. I also have a step-son who lives in Texas. I've lived in New England my entire life (with the exception of two years exploring Alaska). The coast of Maine is unbelievably beautiful, and I feel so lucky to be able to experience it every day.

What are some of your favorite things about the PieceMaker Group?

There are so so many wonderful things about the PieceMakers. It's a group of amazing mosaic artists, who just happen to be amazing people too. It's such a supportive place. We all celebrate each others successes, comfort each other when things don't happen the way we wanted them to, laugh about our mosaic catastrophes, share our artistic dreams, inspire each other to try things that we never thought we would try. The PieceMaker team has become a very important part of my daily life & creative process.

Go to mandolinmosaic.com, or to etsy here, to view more of Amanda's work.

Meet PieceMaker Artist, Waschbear!

This is the 4th in our "Meet the PieceMakers" interview series. Read on to meet PieceMaker member, Frances!

What's your real name? How did you come up with your shop name?

My real name is Frances. And as for my Shop name (and Flickr name)... you know the game where you have to say what kind of animal/plant/car someone would be? Well I never could find an animal that suited me... until my husband gave me the nickname "Waschbär", German for Racoon. Nocturnal, clever, shy, cheeky, omnivorous, likes wearing a mask... that's me! I changed it to waschbear to reflect my dual Swiss/English nationality (ok, and maybe a teensy little bit because the name Waschbaer was already taken).

How long have you been creating mosaics? What was your first piece?

I've been creating mosaics for about 6 years now. It all started because we needed a new water jug and I couldn't find one I liked. Take that and a certain affinity to broken china which comes from sharing a household with three small children... Only a mosaic Mom can say "oh well DONE, you broke another plate!" without a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

What other art do you do, if any?

This and that. Since completing a course at the Arts college in Basel in my youth - or actually far earlier, ever since I can remember - I have been consumed by the urge to learn as many different crafts as possible: mosaics and weaving are my favorites, but I also enjoy spinning, sewing, knitting, woodwork, building ovens and making garden sculptures.... My wishlist currently includes dyeing fibers and working with iron. And keeping sheep. Beer brewing would also be cool. Or bee keeping.... Life is just far too SHORT!!

What kind of shows have you been a part of?

I'm still working on this one. My piece for the current Piecemakers' feather challenge is the first I've entered in a competition, and I've only fairly recently looked into marketing my art. I'm pleased with how that's going so far.

What would be your dream to mosaic? ... a building? .... a town mural? ...etc..

I have so many dreams. The mosaic Pizza oven I built was the most amazingly fun project to do, so in a way I've already been lucky enough to realize one dream mosaic. The bathroom I'm currently working on is another. An empty room, tons of lovely glass tiles and only myself (and maybe my husband a bit) to please... that is pretty cool! I'd like to do a large mosaic dragon sculpture one of these days. And some more mosaic garden furniture.

Is being an artist your full-time job? What other jobs or hobbies consume your time?

No, I can't live off my art by any means - that would be great! But its really nice to be setting up a mosaic network, and who knows what it may lead to. Besides all the hobbies listed under question 3), I also have three children and a household to look after. And a part time job. Don't ask me how it all works out! It does somehow and that's the main thing.

Tell us ,briefly, about your family or your daily life or about the area where you live.

I live in Switzerland. My parents are both English but they moved here before I was born, so I've spent my whole life living in or around the quite small but very nice city of Basle. My husband is Swiss and my children are growing up speaking both English and Swiss German. We live in a house which I'm doing my best to cover in mosaics bit by bit and we have a largish garden which I'm certain still has room for another mosaic sculpture or three...

What are some of your favorite things about being part of the PieceMaker group?

The PieceMakers have managed to transform Etsy from a big scary anonymous place into a warm welcoming friendly place for me. There's plenty of encouragement, valuable exchange of know how and last but not least lots of great humor - my kind of place, I'm really glad to be here!

To see more of Waschbear's Work, check out her etsy shop by clicking here!